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RC Radios, Transmitters, Receivers, Servos, gyros Discussion all about rc radios, transmitters, receivers, servos, etc.

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Old 09-28-2011, 04:14 PM   #1
WVrailfan
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Default Range test, every flight?

I am new to RC flying, about three months now. I recently joined a club and noticed that a lot of old timers don't do a range check each flight.

I am using a new Spektrum DX6i. Do I need to range check each plane I fly, every time I fly it, or just at the beginning of a flying session?

Thanks
Jim
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:18 PM   #2
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I do them (usually) only at first flight of an airplane. That tests the "installation" of the receiver and components and should tell you if there is an issue.

So I do it once - per new airplane .

Mike
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:28 PM   #3
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Every flight would be way over the top. Once when I maiden a new plane is all I'd do, plus if I changed out the receiver or got a new transmitter, or if the plane had been crashed.

Perhaps these old timers habits were picked up in the very early days of RC when gear was much less reliable? Even so I've been involved in RC since around 1970 and even then I don’t know of anyone who routinely did a range check every flight.

Steve
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:35 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, that helps a lot.

Jim
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:34 PM   #5
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I always do it first flight of the day. This does two things, makes sure my batteries are up to snuff and that all controls move in the proper direction. It is easy to forget to hook up the ailerons or to get the connector in backwards.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rodneh View Post
I always do it first flight of the day. This does two things, makes sure my batteries are up to snuff and that all controls move in the proper direction. It is easy to forget to hook up the ailerons or to get the connector in backwards.
I'll second that vote, rodneh.
Every plane I fly get's a full range check once per trip to the field.
If a plane has 7 different flights on Saturday - the 1st flight gets a range check.
If it flies again Sunday... the 1st flight gets a range check.

For me a good range check = 1/2 power has full control at 35 paces.


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Old 09-28-2011, 08:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rodneh View Post
I always do it first flight of the day. This does two things, makes sure my batteries are up to snuff and that all controls move in the proper direction. It is easy to forget to hook up the ailerons or to get the connector in backwards.
Hmmm unless you have truly exceptional eyesight a range check isnt the best way to check that controls are moving correctly.. Yes I would recommend that a quick 'stick wiggle test' is done prior to EVERY flight (not just the first of the day) to check all controls are moving and in the right direction, but that's done with the model at your feet and is not the same as a range check.

As for the batteries, well the battery onboard an electric plane is changed or charged every flight so it should be fine, but if your going to check it then why not every flight? Same thing even if you use a separate Rx battery, it's just as likely to fail on the second, third, or tenth flight as the first of the day, in fact failure after a number of flights is far more likely.
For the battery in the Tx, most if not all Tx's have a battery charge display and a low battery level warning beep, you would have to be trying pretty hard to overlook a flat Tx battery.

Of course we are all free to do as many checks as we like, there is no right way and wrong way but personally I'd rather be flying than range checking when it adds no real value.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:33 PM   #8
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How do you range test a 2.4ghz radio?

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Old 09-28-2011, 08:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Octavius View Post
How do you range test a 2.4ghz radio?
With Spektrum gear you press the bind button on the Tx which reduces Tx power.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rodneh View Post
I always do it first flight of the day. This does two things, makes sure my batteries are up to snuff and that all controls move in the proper direction. It is easy to forget to hook up the ailerons or to get the connector in backwards.
And good point - what I do before every flight of every plane is a surface control check, and direction check.

Mike
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:55 PM   #11
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I've never done a range test but I check the control surfaces every flight to make sure I don't have the wrong model loaded.

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Old 09-28-2011, 11:02 PM   #12
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All the 2.4GHz systems have provision for a range check where power is reduced to approximately 1/10 normal. Different systems do this in different ways, usually a button being pressed for a significant time, a certain combination of keys as you turn on the switch or ???. Check your manual, it is there somewhere.
And yes, besides doing a range check at the start of each day, for my systems where a separate receiver battery is used I always check the Voltwatch at the beginning of the first flight and then at the end of each subsequent flight. I find the Voltwatch much more indicative of flight status than a loaded voltmeter plus it is ALWAYS there to check. A Voltwatch will pick up any problems with a bad switch or excessive current draw with servo movement if you cycle the sticks as you look at the LED's. If you see flickering into the red, you have a problem somewhere that should be corrected before you fly again.
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:36 PM   #13
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Range check new installation. Using another person to verify model. (As to 2.4Ghz ... my gear has combined Bind / Range check button ... on 35Mhz - you leave antena collapsed .....)

Then on regular models ... it's a few paces away check controls work before first flight - I've had links fail after getting knocked in car ...

All flights that same day after ... it's tail between ankles .. check all controls still ok ... then step away and fly.

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Old 10-03-2011, 09:12 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by WVrailfan View Post
I am new to RC flying, about three months now. I recently joined a club and noticed that a lot of old timers don't do a range check each flight.

I am using a new Spektrum DX6i. Do I need to range check each plane I fly, every time I fly it, or just at the beginning of a flying session?

Thanks
Jim
Hi Jim Range test your plane every time you take it out, or after a hard landing, Also, before flying, lay your plane on the ground, in front of you, pointing away from you, and check all the control surfaces for proper operation with the transmitter, taking 30 seconds to do this, will prevent you from taking off with the controls reversed Take care and have fun, Chellie

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:15 AM   #15
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As I said earlier, I have damaged or broken control links etc. transporting / putting into / getting out models in cars. So arrival checks at flight site are more than what I do later for subsequent flights same day ... as long as no hard landings / nose-ins occur etc.

There is an extra I do as well .......... if I field repair a model - I always get another trusted person to check out my repair before committing to air. Just my being safe and concerned not to risk others. It's a hang over from days when I did display work in UK years ago. We had to have our models checked over by organisers before we could fly and risk public.

At the end of the day ... I think we all develope a self-checking list. I've seen various posted up on forums and they are OK - but never seem to fit my style. Bit like what tools / gear do you carry to / from flight site. But the basic matter is to ensure the model is safe before it takes off and get's out of your control. As you know your style of flying and possible effects on your plane ... you will devise hopefully sensible checks that suit you and keep all safe.

Bit like ... do you actually check oil, water, tyre pressures each time you get in your car ... do you check them daily ... weekly ...

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